In today’s faced-paced world, high cortisol levels are becoming increasingly common among busy individuals which cause many symptoms that are difficult to manage to stay healthy. Learn how to lower cortisol levels naturally with these tips.
How to Lower Cortisol Levels Naturally
Although there are a few medical treatments available for this condition, some people find that these solutions to lower cortisol levels aren’t effective. Due to this, many of them live with high cortisol levels.
However, living with high cortisol levels can have numerous negative effects on your mood and overall health, such as:
- Lack of energy, difficulty in sleeping, loss of muscle strength
- Stomach pain, thinning of bones
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Dizziness, Anxiety, Depression
- Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, High blood pressure, etc.
And if not addressed promptly these negative effects can eventually lead to more serious conditions. Therefore, here I’m going to discuss some tried and tested ways to lower cortisol levels in your body naturally.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Cortisol is a hormone that is made by the adrenal glands. When your body is under stress, it goes into flight or fight mode, which increases the production of cortisol.
Breathing shallowly actually sends signals to your adrenal glands that you’re preparing for flight or fight mode, so they’ll pump out more cortisol. However, you can stop this response by just remembering to breathe deeply.
Whenever you’re under stress, consider doing deep breathing exercise as follows:
- Breathe in through your nose slowly for 3 to 4 seconds and fill your belly with air.
- Now, hold it for 6 to 7 seconds.
- Lastly, release it even more slowly through your mouth for another 7-8 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise for 5-6 times several times a day for maximum benefit.
2. Get Outside in Nature
Studies have shown that just 20-30 minutes of contact with nature will significantly reduce your cortisol levels.
So, sit outside or stroll in the woods, go for a hike, plan exercise outdoors, do gardening, or any other such activities that allow you to spend some quality time in nature.
3. Eat the Right Foods
Highly processed, refined, and sugary foods can actually trigger the production of excess cortisol in the body. On the contrary, consuming a balanced diet with proper amounts of certain nutrients (Magnesium, Zinc, Vit. C, Folate, Omega-3, etc) helps in regulating the cortisol levels.
Limit intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other such stimulants because they can plunge cortisol levels quickly.
4. Get Enough Sleep
A bad night’s sleep or prolonged sleep deprivation can skyrocket cortisol levels in your body. Therefore, it’s really important to pay attention to the amount and quality of sleep you have each day.
Try to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, and if you can’t, then try to do everything you can to improve your sleep.
5. Massage Therapy
Studies have shown that 45 to 60 minutes of massage therapy can lower stress-induced cortisol levels by an average of 30 percent and serotonin increases by an average of 28 percent. All of this boosts your body’s ability to fight off stress, pain, anxiety, and feeling of sadness.
Moreover, massage is a great way to relax and nurture your body. It provides emotional balance and increases awareness of the mind-body connection.
6. Practice Other Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, mindfulness, listening to relaxing music, and other such activities can help you to deal with stress more effectively.
Even science claims that including mindfulness meditation can decrease the serum cortisol level.
7. Laugh and Have Fun
It’s hard to feel stressed and negative when you’re having a good time, so find ways to include fun activities in your routine and try to laugh more. Being happy and having a positive outlook will not only help in lowering your cortisol levels naturally but it also has other benefits too:
- It enhances the immune system
- Increases blood flow
- Relaxes your muscles
- Prevents heart diseases
That’s all from my side. Now, it’s your turn, try some of these ways that resonate with you. Later, come back and share your experience in the comments below.